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Sustainable Procurement Resource Centre

Sustainable public procurement

Public procurement is the process whereby public authorities - including all levels of government and public agencies - buy goods and services or commission work. These contracts make up a significant share of the EU market, accounting for about 19% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Sustainable public procurement (SPP) means taking sustainability considerations into account in your procurement actions - this means thinking carefully about what you buy, buying only what you really need, purchasing products and services with high environmental performance and considering the social and economic impacts of a purchasing decision.

SPP ranges from small scale actions such as buying recycled paper or fair trade coffee, to the retrofitting of public buildings with high energy efficiency standards or procuring efficient and clean transport services. With such a large market share public buyers can have a big influence in driving the market towards sustainable solutions.

For in-depth information on SPP, please see The Procura+ Manual - A guide to cost effective sustainable public procurement

In this section

  • Why buy sustainably? - this section looks at the benefits of implementing SPP for a public authority.
  • The legal & policy framework - this section looks at the European legislation which provides the framework for public procurement, and the policies which support SPP.
  • Implementation - This section presents advice on introducing SPP into a public authority.

  • SPP in action - learn about what public authorities are already doing in SPP.

Resource centre

Access the resource centre to find a wide range of information on sustainable procurement - projects, good practice cases, publications, practical tools, and more.